For many years now, the team at Heat Recruitment in Bristol have been collating retrospective analytical data from their in-house software systems. This allows them to create a comparative salary data set across all the sectors that they work in, including legal. This year, they have decided to formalise this data and make it more widely available in the form of their 2022 Salary Survey.
To give enhanced context and insight to their Salary Survey, they asked their Associate Directors to give their key take-aways and perspectives from the year in business, and to reflect on the hiring trends that they foresee continuing to impact the market in the year ahead. Dan Hazzard, Associate Director of Legal, had the following key take-outs for the legal sector.
Candidates are in short supply, which is leading to a competitive market for law firms
Firms are having to think of new ways to set themselves apart from competitors
Technology continues to push the industry forward
There is increasing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Both pre- and post-Brexit, the legal sector is one that has seen a definite increase in workload. Work around intellectual property, immigration, trade law, data protection and migration has generated increases across the board in enquiries and legal support. Similarly, there remains ongoing confusion around tax legislation and how this is to be applied to the movement of goods and manufacturing, including in both Europe and Northern Ireland.
The pandemic saw many candidates change firms, which is likely due to several factors including redundancy and furlough. There were also concerns around the stability of firms in a very difficult business climate and, because of this, worries about workers’ own job security. Many of these candidates are unlikely to consider moving again for some time, and consequently, there are more vacancies than there are qualified people to fill them. Hybrid working and career progression have taken on even greater importance alongside work-life balance, state-of-the-art technology, a compatible company culture and, as you would expect, competitive salaries.
The result of this is that candidates are attracting not only multiple offers with more competitive salaries, but also very substantial counteroffers. In some areas we can see a direct impact of the pandemic such as in employment law, due to redundancies and furlough, and in insolvency and restructuring where firms need additional support. Similarly, residential property saw an immediate fall-off during lockdown, but the stamp duty holiday has made the sector incredibly busy, and it shows no sign of slowing down.
These insights will be welcomed by Legal Secretaries and PAs who are looking to start their career, or progress in their career, in 2022. With fewer candidates, those who are currently job searching will have more opportunities and a good chance of finding lucrative offers from firms who are hoping to entice candidates to work with them. Newly qualified Legal Secretaries and PAs may also seize this time to get their foot in the door and use their skills and knowledge to stand out from the crowd.
The Salary Survey gives an in-depth breakdown of the salaries expected for multiple legal support roles in each of the different regions of the country. Legal Secretaries and PAs can use this information to gain a further understanding of what salaries they can expect and also how their current salary stands up to the average.
You can download the 2022 Salary Survey for Legal Salaries here.
Established in 2005, Heat Recruitment is a dedicated recruitment agency based in Bristol and operating throughout the UK. They value passion, integrity, excellence and partnerships above all else and take the utmost pride in the service they provide to their clients. Take a look at their Legal Secretary vacancies here.